How to Get the Strobing Effect With Your Skin Care

How to get the strobing effect with skin care

Strobing is all about adding light and reflectiveness to the high planes of your face for a dimensional look. Oils, powders and creams will work, but strobing with your skin care guarantees a natural, more luminous strobe.


There have been some seriously wacky beauty trends in the past couple decades. Orange faux tans? A bad look. Overplucked eyebrows? Many still rue the day. And don’t get me started on lining the lips with black liner.

More recently, there’s been contouring — that Kim Kardashian mainstay of shading and highlighting to create more definition in the face. Done right (and seen in the right light), contouring is supposed to give you razor-sharp model cheekbones and that coveted V-shaped jawline. Done wrong (and let’s face it, most of us do it wrong), you end up looking muddy at best and, at worst, like a paint-by-numbers gone bad. We may be at the tail end of the contouring trend, but I’m going to go out on a limb and call it — contouring is going to be one of those beauty trends that we look back upon and shake our heads at.

Thankfully, makeup artists have been championing a more modern way to shape and define the face. Strobing, essentially another word for highlighting, emphasizes the high points of your face, like the cheekbones, temple, forehead, bridge of the nose, tear ducts and cupid’s bow. So instead of darkening the hollows of your cheeks and jawline, you’re spotlighting areas of the face where light naturally hits. Think of it as a fresh, more youthful antidote to contouring.


Of course, highlighters have their perils as well. Powder highlighters can come off too frosty on camera and cream or liquid versions don’t work well with powder bases. But why bother with a makeup product when you can achieve that strobing effect simply with your skincare?

After all, Korean women have been pretty much strobing with their skincare for the past decade. Sure, that dewy, hydrated look called mul-gwang got a bit out of hand at its peak, bordering more on oily and greasy than glowy, but in recent years it’s been pulled back to a more lit-from-within look (sometimes called sok-gwang), more akin to the dewiness of strobing. And Korean women don’t rely on just makeup to achieve that highlighted look — they strobe with skincare or skincare-based products.


mul gwang strobe with your skin care korean ad


So how to achieve strobing with skincare? Just follow these steps.

  1. First, moisturize well. Like all Korean skincare, you want to “layer” your products for best results, so a healthy, hydrated base is going to help you optimize that natural strobing effect. J. One Jelly Pack is a “jelly” textured morning mask, treatment and primer that immediately liquefies on the skin. Apply it to the cheekbones for an instant hit of hydration, as well as a lifting and firming effect. (They don’t call this a “corset mask” for nothing.) It also leaves a nice little sheen on your skin, so even if you don’t do anything else, you’re already strobing!
  1. If you do wear foundation, try this makeup artist secret: Mix a couple drops of LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule into your foundation for a naturally dewy finish. You can also tap on top of cheekbones after you apply your foundation for a subtle strobe.

PRIMARY RAW Soy Milk Bio Lumpoule & Multi Balm from Glow Recipe

  1. Looking for a stronger strobe from your skincare? Then Primary Raw Soy Milk Bio Lumpoule & Multi Balm is your go-to product. This genius 2-in-1 fermented soy bean serum (nano-micronized for even deeper penetration) comes with a portable balm that is not only good for dry patches, it can be applied to the tops of your cheekbones and other areas where you want that luminescent, highlighted look. So not only are you strobing, you’re also nourishing your skin with rice bran extract and sealing in moisture. Use it on the go whenever you need a little extra glow.
  1. Another way to get your strobe on throughout the day is to spritz with a hydrating mist, like Whamisa Organic Flowers Olive Leaf Mist, a 2015 Refinery29 Beauty Innovator Award Winner. Because the actives aren’t diluted in this waterless mist, all you get is a burst of hydration and a nice, dewy glow — focus the mist on forehead and cheekbones for maximum strobe. Or use the mist to do double duty, using makeup artist Kira Nasrat’s secret: Spritz the mist (instead of water) on a beauty blender and tap on the high planes of your face for a mul-gwang look. Then use the beauty blender to fix or refresh makeup.
  1. Once you’re home, prep your face for another good skin day by mixing and matching face masks. Mix half of the Lindsay Modeling Rubber Mask – Vitamin and apply to your forehead and cheekbones, then mix half of the Lindsay Modeling Rubber Mask – Charcoal and apply to the jawline and chin. (You can save the rest in a plastic baggie or reusable container for next time.) The vitamin C and niacinamide of the vitamin mask works to brighten skin, while charcoal draws out dirt and oil from pores, leaving skin deep cleaned and tightened. So you’re already halfway there to a natural strobe in the morning.

Because while you may look back one day and cringe at your ombré dye job, naturally highlighted, hydrated and glowing skin will always be in style.

Interested in learning more about mul-gwang, sok-gwang and the variations thereof? Read about it here.


Written by me, originally published on



9 thoughts on “How to Get the Strobing Effect With Your Skin Care

  1. abby says:

    What about coconut oil? I use it because of the glow effect and also it’s completely natural and good for my skin. I know for sure there’s no added chemicals and ingredients that I don’t understand in coconut oil. I feel super safe using it long term. Do the products you mention here completely natural and beneficial to use everyday for as long as we want? There are some ingredients in the products which are kind of unknown to me and sounds like chemical… Thanks,


    • AnnaMPark says:

      Hi Abby, thanks for your comment. I love that you’re trying to use completely natural skin care, and it sounds like you’ve got great skin! Like all skin care, you should use what works for your skin type and concerns. Coconut oil, or most any oil, will do wonders for a strobing effect on the skin. But alas, for me, coconut oil is too rich and makes my makeup a mess (pretty much any oil, for that matter). I have a lot of hyperpigmentation, so going without a medium- to full-coverage foundation is just not an option. That being said, all these products are available at Glow Recipe, and they do try to curate as many nature-based products as possible. My favorite is the LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule, which has a nice, short ingredient list with mostly natural or nature-based ingredients. It’s done wonders for my combination skin!


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